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St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin
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St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese: December 2012 Bulletin

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  • 1. Diocesan Bulletin - December 2012
  • 2. “Today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will findan infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Lk. 2:11-12).Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! May the Joy of Christmas fill your hearts this season and through 2013
  • 3. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago My Lord and My God Diocesan Bulletin - December 2012 About the Cover Page: The ongoing process of the Incarna-tion of the Son of God is continued in theChurch by the power of the Holy Spirit,especially at the time of the celebration ofHoly Qurbana so that His birth becomesa reality in our life. The Holy Spirit whodwelt in Blessed Mary at the time ofIncarnation, comes down from heaven atthe celebration of Holy Qurbana to makethe gifts of bread and wine the real bodyand blood of Jesus Christ. The same Spiritdwells in the faithful so that we maydeepen our faith in the Lord and in HisChurch and continue the spiritual journey December 2012, Vol. 7, No. 3to heaven. The Meaning of the Logo of the Year of Faith Published by :The Church, the boat, is sailing with thepower of the Cross against the waves of the Fr. Sebastian Vethanath, Chancellor,world to heaven. In her journey to heaven, St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicagothe most Holy Qurbana is the power houseof enlightening nourishment. The letters 372 S. Prairie Avenue, Elmhurst, IL 60126-4020IHS is the short form of the phrase ‘Jesus Ph: 630-279-1386, 630-279-1383 Fax: 630-279-1479Hominum Salvator’ (Jesus is the Saviour of ‘Jesus email: chancellor@syromail.comhumankind). www.stthomasdiocese.org
  • 4. CONTENTPastoral Letter No. 14/2012-Encountering the Presence of the Lord through growing in the Gift of Faith 5Pastoral Letter No. 14/2012 (Malayalam)- ssZh-km-¶n-²ym-p-`hw hnizm-k-h-fÀ¨-bn-eqsS 10Circular No. 4/2012-The Year of Faith 16Pastoral Recommendations for the Year of Faith at the Parish /Mission Level 17Pastoral Recommendations for the Year of Faith at the Diocesan Level 18Circular No. 5/2012-Guidelines for the Celebration of Holy Qurbana in St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago 19News from Chancery 24The Mode of remembering Major Archbishop, Bishops, Consecrated Persons and lay Missionaries in the Syro-Malabar Qurbana 26Priests’ Conference-2012 Report 27Encountering the Risen Lord through the Celebration of Holy Qurbana 30Liturgy of the Word and of the Bread :Two Fundamental Parts of Holy Qurbana 31Basic Structure of Syro-Malabar Qurbana 34Vatican Council’s Teachings on active Participation in the Celebration of Holy Qurbana 38Liturgical Year : A Golden Key to the Door of Faith 39Seasons of Annunciation-Nativity 40Season of Epiphany 41Diocesan Youth Apostolate (DYA) 42 Diocesan Youth Leaders Gathering (DYLG) 43 West Cost Youth Conference (WCYC) 2013 44 4 Life : Pro-Life Ministry 45 World Youth Day 2013 (WYD) 47News at a Glance 49Bishop’s Diary 53Vision and Mission of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago in the Light of II Vatican Council’s Decree Orientalium Ecclesiarum 57II Vatican Council (1962-1965) at a Glance 59
  • 5. Prayerful Greetings Cardinal Mar Baselios Cleemis Bava Major Archbishop of Syro-Malankara ChurchMar George Rajendran Mar Jacob Muricken Bishop of Thuckalay Diocese Auxilary Bishop of Palai Diocese
  • 6. Participants of Priests’ Conference-2012
  • 7. No. 14/2012 Pastoral Letter By the grace of God, Mar Jacob Angadiath, the Bishop of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chi- cago and Permanent Apostolic Visita- tor to Canada, send this greeting and message to all the priests, men and women religious, and beloved people of God, living in USA and Canada.R “Glory to God in the highest”, Amen.Dear and Loving Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ, emembering the Good News of the birth of Jesus Christ, we have already entered in to the liturgical year. In different seasons of the liturgical year ofthe Syro-Malabar Church the faithful are invited to meditate upon the variousfacets of Christ’s salvific mysteries starting from his birth to the second coming.Through the proper observance of the liturgical seasons the faithful are benefit-ted to experience the fruits of salvation in their personal life. Encountering the Presence of the Lord through growing in the Gift of Faith
  • 8. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago The liturgical seasons of Mangalavaartha and Piravikaalam invite us to prepare our- selves to welcome the Lord who was born of Blessed Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is a time of hope and joy. Christ, the Saviour, comes in search of His people. His coming is the good news to the world. That is why we hear the Gloria, the song of the an- gels: “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to those on whom His favor rests”Too much concern (Lk 2:14). Renewing and deepening our faithabout world and its in the Lord, let us prepare ourselves to cel-affairs will certainly ebrate Christmas during this Year of Faith.turn our life away fromGod. Another danger of The Year of Faith, inaugurated by Popedeviation from the path Benedict XVI on October 11th, 2012 aimsof truth occurs when at encountering the presence of the Lord inappears wrong per- our daily life. The life of innocent shepherdssonalities who spread (Lk 2:8-20) teaches that only those who aremisleading and nega- pure and humble in heart can have this en-tive news and ideas in counter with the Lord. The gift of faith, a per-the community against sonal adherence of man to God (CCC 150), isthe Church and her au- of vital importance in this encountering. Faiththorities. Here we have is the adequate human response to the self-to be more vigilant and revealing God (CCC 142). Like the innocentalert, because the sa- shepherds we have to respond to the revela-tanic power is always tion of God through our genuine faith.around us in the formof deviated persons In his apostolic letter, The Door of Faith,to make us turn away the Pope emphasizes the importance of faithfrom the true Church. in our journey to God. If we are not properly guided by the true faith of the Church, there is always possibility for deviation from the true path that leads to divine presence. Such a deviation occurred in the life of Wise Men from the East (Mt 2: 1-12) who knowingly or 6
  • 9. unknowingly entered King Herod’s palace in search of Infant Jesus. Certainly itwas a wrong step, because one cannot find God’s presence in the luxuries andpleasures of material life, simbolized by King Herod’s palace. Too much concernabout world and its affairs will certainly turn our life away from God. Anotherdanger of deviation from the path of truth occurs when appears wrong person-alities who spread misleading and negative news and ideas in the communityagainst the Church and her authorities. Here we have to be more vigilant andalert, because the satanic power is always around us in the form of deviatedpersons to make us turn away from the true Church. The Wise men had the courage and prudence to come out of the wrongplace. It helped them to find the Infant Jesus with Mary in the crib at Bethlehem.Here, according to the Church Fathers, Blessed Mary stands as the symbol ofthe Church. Just as Blessed Mary, the first Tabernacle, bore the Son of God inher womb, the Church, the New Ark of the Covenant (Ex. 25:10-30) helps thefaithful to experience the presenece of God in the world. The Church is the inn(Lk 20:34) where the faithful can experience the presence of the Lord throughthe divine gifts of the Word of God and of the Eucharistic Bread. That is why PopeBenedict XVI encourages every faithful: “We must rediscover a taste for feedingourselves on the Word of God, faithfully handed down by the Church, and onthe Bread of Life, offered as sustenance for His people (Jn 6:51, The Door ofFaith no. 3). Encounter with the Lord is to be experienced through the active participa-tion in the celebration of the Holy Qurbana. Therefore I request all the faithful togive sufficient attention to this. Sometimes, because of tight work schedule, thefaithful may fail to participate in the celebration of Holy Eucharist on Sundaysand other days of obligation. This failure has to be rectified by attending HolyQurbana on another day of the week. It will be good to remember that late nightSaturday parties will affect the attendance of CCD and Holy Qurbana on Sundays.Please take care of not conducting any kind of late night parties on Saturday. In this Year of Faith we have to nourish the gift of faith with Word of God,strengthen it through genuine life based on prayer (Mk 9: 24) and sacraments,and make it fruitful through the works of charity (Gal 5: 6). St. James teachesus: “faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead (James 2: 17). One can growin faith only through believing. We have to believe with certitude what is re- 7
  • 10. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago vealed in the Word of God, Creed and Church teachings. Teachings of the Fathers of the Church, Council decrees of Vatican II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church are shining lights to guide us to God, the Father. Our faith has to be rooted in the faith of the Church Just as Blessed (CCC 162). It is the Church that believes first, and so bears, Mary, the first nourishes and sustains our faith. It is with the Church and Tabernacle, bore in the Church that we confess: “I believe” or “we believe” the Son of God (CCC 168). When rightly guided by the faith of the Church, in her womb, the we can certainly reach the shore of divine realm. Church, the New Though faith is a personal act, it is not an isolated one. Ark of the The believer has received faith from others and should Covenant hand it on to others, by professing, celebrating and wit- nessing it publically. The words of St. Augustine are (Ex. 25:10-30) noteworthy here: “The faith of the Church that you have helps the faithful received and recited must be kept ever present in yourto experience the minds and hearts, you must repeat it in your beds, recall itpresenece of God in the public squares and not forget it during meals; even in the world. The when your body is asleep, you must watch over it with your hearts”. Church is the inn(Lk 20:34) where Family is the primary school of faith. Praying parents the faithful can are the first teachers of faith. The first lesson of faith is learned at home. The family prayer, the love shared at experience the home, the respect and regard for holy things and holy presence of the people are experienced at home. Therefore, I exhort youLord through the all to sustain a prayerful atmosphere at your home con-divine gifts of the ducive to the growth of faith. Word of God The parish community becomes the second nurturingand of the Eucha- center of faith, after the family. Active participation in the ristic Bread. liturgical celebrations, faith formation, Bible study, ward prayer, celebration of sacraments, especially of Holy Eu- charist and Reconciliation (Confession), involvement in the Church organizations and generous support to the Church are some of the means through which we live and practice our faith. I urge Rev. Fathers and the faithful to 8
  • 11. give sufficient attention to select themes, connected with the faith of the Church,for the various programs related with parish feasts, celebrations of Christmas,Easter, anniversary etc. It will certainly provide an opportunity to know anddeepen our faith in the Lord. The door of faith is opened to us all. In the history of the Church we seemultitudes of saints who followed the footsteps of the Lord, entering the doorof faith. Martyrs shed their blood for the faith in the Lord and became true wit-nesses of the Lord. In this Year of Faith we should give special attention to readthe life of saints and to imitate their model of witnessing the faith in God. In aspecial way, we have to imitate the life of Blessed Mary, the model of faith, byreciting meditatively the mysteries of the holy rosary. Renewal of the Church is possible only through the witnessing offered by thelives of believers. By their very existence in the world, Christians are called to ra-diate the word of truth that the Lord has left us. This life witnessing to the Lorddemands from us an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord through theforgiveness of sins (cf. Acts 5:31). So, in this Year of Faith, I urge all the faithfulto receive the sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) more frequently withgenuine spirit of repentance and conversion. Having encountered the Infant Jesus and offered their life before Him, theWise men from the East returned to their country by another road (Mt 2: 12).Let their life be a model to us. The observance of the Year of Faith and the cele-bration of Christmas may help us to encounter Jesus and to re-dedicate our livesto Him through constant acts of repentance and conversion, opening a new wayand direction towards God and fellow beings. Wish you all a Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year! May the grace ofInfant Jesus be with you all in the New Year!Bishop of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of ChicagoMar Jacob AngadiathNB: This pastoral letter is to be read in all our parishes and missions during all Holy Qurbana on December 16, 2012. 9
  • 12. No. 14/2012CS-b-te-Jw
  • 13. 11
  • 14. St. Thomas Syro-MalabarCatholic Diocese of Chicago 12
  • 15. 13
  • 16. St. Thomas Syro-MalabarCatholic Diocese of Chicago 14
  • 17. amÀ tP¡_v A§m-Sn-b¯v jn¡m-tKm, skâv tXmakv kntdm-þ-a-e-_mÀ cq]-X-bpsS sa{Xm³ Unkw-_À 8, 2012 NB: 15
  • 18. No. 4 / 2012 CircularTDear and loving Fathers, Reverend Sisters and be-“Glory to God in the highest”, Amen.loved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, he ‘Year of Faith’ announced by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, is at hand. Seriousdiscussions were made on the observance of thisYear of Faith, in the Pastoral Council and Priests’Conference. The practical suggestions are codi-fied and are attached herewith. Let the inauguration of this Year of Faith be doneat our Cathedral and other Parishes and Missions on Sunday October 14, 2012with some special events. 1. Prayer life: personal prayer, family prayer and liturgical prayer. Special emphasis is given to: 2. Study: the Holy Bible, II Vatican Council Documents, Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Apostolic letter ‘The Door of Faith’. 3. Witness: follow the experience of modern Saints and thus witness to our faith. Let the priests remind the faithful frequently regarding the observance ofthe Year of Faith. Let us open our hearts to welcome the Lord. Being rooted inJesus, let us proclaim Him as the Lord.May the Lord bless us.Yours sincerely in the Lord, September 27, 2012 Feast of St. Vincent de PaulBishop of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of ChicagoMar Jacob Angadiath 16
  • 19. The observance of the Year of Faith is an occasion to ex- perience and give witness to Catholic faith. For this, knowledge of faith is of vital importance. The following are the recommendations of the Priests’ Conference-2012 to realize the vision and mis- sion of the Year of Faith at the parish/mission level.• Parish and Mission level inauguration of the Year of Faith shall be on Octo- ber 14th 2012 by lighting the lamp and professing the Creed. Pastors/Direc- tors will encourage the faithful to profess, more consciously, the Creed every day at home during family prayer before the lighted lamp.• Arrange classes for children, teens, youth, couples and parents on Holy Qur- bana, Sacraments, Bible, Mariology, Life of Saints etc. Teach them the Coun- cil Doctrines of Vat II, Catechism of the Catholic Church and Apostolic letter ‘the Door of Faith’.• Encourage people to make use of the Catholic version of the Bible, study guides pertain to the Scriptures, Bible with question-answers etc.• Explain to the faithful the ‘why’ of being a Catholic. The ‘why’ and ‘what’ aspects of the Holy Qurbana are to be explained to the faithful, especially to the catechism students and youth.• Genuine formation shall be given to the faithful to have active participation in the sacraments of Eucharist, Penance and Anointing of the Sick so that they can have deep personal encounter with God and renewal in life.• Promote personal, family and ward prayers as a means of deepening and transferring the gift of faith to the generations.• Renewal of families shall be of vital importance through prayer, sacramental life and other forms of the celebration of faith.• Encourage and teach the faithful to be witnesses and promoters of faith at home, parish, school, colleges and work zone so that more people may be attracted to the Church. 17
  • 20. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago• Encourage and make use of videos, slides, skit, dance, stage program, quiz and essay competitions based on the great content of faith.• Make use of web, TV and Radio to ‘stay connected’ in the faith formation of the members of family, parish, mission and diocese.• The concept of having a prayer room in a home has to be encouraged.• Regional and parish level inauguration and conclusion of the Year of Faith.• Provide a team of experts on regional and diocesan levels to teach on the Decrees of the Council of Vat II and CCC according to the demand from the parishes and missions.• Organize study (class 1/2days) on the diocesan and regional levels on CCC and Decrees of Vat II for priests and catechists.• Make available knowledge about the documents of Vat II, CCC and Holy Qur- bana through diocesan bulletin and prepared homilies.• Make available the copies of the new publication of the decrees of Vat II (summarized form).• Formulate the diocesan directives for the celebration of liturgy.• Edit the catechism text books, prepared by the Synodal Commission on Cat- echism of Syro-Malabar Church.• Prepare power point presentation on Holy Qurbana.• Include in the diocesan directives the need of orientation classes for the parents and god parents of the children to be baptized.• Form a social service agency to coordinate the acts of charity in the diocesan level. Under the guidance of the same agency, out reaching program, can be organized for various groups.• Prepare a leaflet explaining the ‘why’ and ‘what’ aspects of Holy Qurbana and make available its copies to the use of the people.• Prepare a leaflet answering the questions and doubts of the faithful regard- ing faith. 18
  • 21. No. 5 / 2012Guidelines for the CircularCelebration ofHoly Qurbanain St. Thomas Syro-MalabarCatholic Diocese of Chicago“Glory to God in the highest”, Amen.Dear and Rev. Fathers, men and women religiousand my dear beloved people of God, living in USA and Canada,T he identity of any in- dividual Church is pri-marily expressed throughthe celebration of its liturgy,especially of Holy Qurbanaand other Sacraments. Thefollowing guidelines aregiven, with the intention ofhaving uniformity, in thecelebration of Holy Qurba-na in various parishes andmissions of our diocese.Though certain options arestrictly celebrant’s choice,for the sake of uniformityin our diocese, I requestall concerned to follow theinstructions.
  • 22. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago1. Celebration of Holy Qurbana facing the people or facing madbaha? With regard to this question we follow the decision of the Synod ofSt. Thomas Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Church. To quote from decisionof the Synod: “Finally the Synod unanimously agreed to have the Syro-Mala-bar Litrugy celebrated in the following way : 1) From the beginning till ana-phora - facing the people, 2) The whole of anaphora, communion inclusive -(Synodal News, December 1999, page 61).facing the altar and 3) The part after communion - again facing the people”Following the decision of the Synod• The celebrant faces the congregation in the bema starting from annapesaha thirunnalil to the profession of faith.• Thereafter the celebrant enters and faces madbaha till the time of the prayer after Holy Communion (Christ, our Lord, hope of mankind!).• Concluding prayers and final blessing are done at bema facing the people.2. Position of the faithful during the celebration of Holy Qurbana• Standing: This is the normal posture for all during Holy Qurbana. Excep- tions are:• Sitting: During the time of readings from Old Testaments and epistle, Homily, offertory time till the profession of faith, the time of Holy Communion• Kneeling: The rite of reconciliation (Have mercy on me, O God… till ‘Our Father’ before Holy Communion)• The new Qurbana text, having English and Malayalam translation in the same3. Qurbana texts book, printed especially for our diocese are to be introduced and used in all our parishes and missions. 20
  • 23. • The second part with “Glory be to …” is to be added at the end of the first li- turgical “Our Father”, since it is missing in the first edition of newly printed Qurbana text.• Pastors should take care to make use of propria, included in the new Qur- bana text, in order that the congregation may have right experience of the spirit of different liturgical seasons.• Directions given in the Taksa, the source book for the celebration of Holy4. Directions for the celebration of Holy Qurbana Qurbana of Syro-Malabar Church, are to be followed strictly. In accordance with that Qurbana begins with annapesaha thirunnalil.• During the time of sarvathipanam karthaave the celebrant turns to face the altar and then together with the congregation makes a deep bowing.• On Sundays and other days of solemn Qurbana incensing is to be used.• On Sundays and other days of solemn Qurbana there should be four (three) readings from the Holy Bible. Follow the order of the liturgical calendar of our Church in the selection of the readings. After the Old Testament read- ing (s), the celebrant stands for the hymn ambaramanavaratham followed by the prayer before the reading from epistle. During the time of the read- ing from the epistle, one server will hold a lighted candle by the side of the reader.• The Holy Gospel is brought in procession from the altar when the gospel hymn is sung. For the Gospel procession, incensing and two lighted candles are used. There is no incensing of the Gospel by the celebrant. After the reading, Gospel is placed at the right side of the altar.• Let the people make sign of the cross on themselves as the celebrant blesses the congregation with peace, before Gospel proclamation, before anaphora and before Holy Communion.• There is no offertory procession from the part of faithful.• Preparation of the gifts of bread and wine are done on bethgaze during the time of karosuza. 21 65
  • 24. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago• After the preparation of the gifts the celebrant comes down to the bema to make the concluding prayers of the rite of the Word of God including the two prayers of blessing.• The celebrant brings the gifts of bread and wine in procession to the al- tar during the time of the hymn, mishihakarthaavin thirumeyyninavumitha remembering Christ’s journey to Golgotha. Offertory collection will be tak- en at this time while congregation is seated.• After the offertory, the celebrant comes down again to bema to recite dhivyarahasyageetham 2, followed by the profession of the Creed: for this all stand.• After the profession of the Creed, the celebrant makes the solemn entrance to the altar for the celebration of anaphora.• Regarding the exchange of peace, a sign of reconciliation among the faithful, the servers receive the exchange of peace from the celebrant and give it to the congregation.• After the words of consecration together with the celebrant the whole con- gregation makes a deep bowing.• For the prayer of epiclesis – invocation of the Holy Spirit – the whole congregation bow their heads.• Holy Communion on tongue is ideal. If it is received in hands make sure that it is done with proper devotion and consumed there itself. Pastors have to teach the faithful how to receive the communion in the hand and how to consume it.• The prayer ‘the altar of sanctification’ is priestly prayer in silence.• The prayers before and after sarvaathipanam karthaave5. Prayers shared by the concelebrants• The prayer after paripavananam sarvesha• Prayer before the reading from epistle• Intercessory prayer (madhyastha prarthana)• Thanksgiving prayers before the final blessing• It is not permitted to share the prayers of anaphora by concelebrants.• The celebrant is not allowed to add their own private prayers and hymns during the celebration of Holy Qurbana. 22
  • 25. 6. Choir and selection of Hymns in the The primary duty of the choir is to help the congregation to participate in the Celebration of Holy QurbanaHoly Qurbana in a fruitful and experiential manner. In the celebration of HolyQurbana the choir does the ministry of angels. The hymns given in the liturgi-cal texts (Qurbana Taksa) are composed according to the biblical revelations.They are fixed in the liturgical texts in order to keep the spirit of Holy Qurbanawhich is structured after biblical revelations. These hymns are to be sung withdue devotion. Optional hymns are given in the appendix of the Taksa. No othersubstitute is to be used in the celebration of Holy Qurbana. The choir is free toselect entrance song and Holy Communion song. Let Rev. Pastors make it surethat the performance of choir is well suited to keep the spirit of liturgy. Let all our priests and people understand the importance of sacredliturgy and so follow all the above mentioned directives faithfully. Priestsare advised to give timely teachings to our people on liturgical prayers,gestures and symbols. Let the observance of the Year of Faith help us todeepen our faith in the Lord and to encounter his presence in our lifethrough the proper celebration of Holy Qurbana.NB: The official text, prepared by the Synod of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Church, are to be used in the celebration of other sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage and Annointing of the Sick) and in the rites of Christmas and Holy Week.Yours sincerely in the Lord,Bishop of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of ChicagoMar Jacob Angadiath 23
  • 26. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of ChicagoTransfers and News fromAppointments of Priests C hanc e ryRev. Fr. John Thomas (Thachara) & Rev. Fr. Thomas Kadukappillil,with effect from October 18, 2012Diocesan General Coordinators for the Year of FaithRev. Fr. John Thomas (Thachara),with effect from October 30, 2012Pastor, St. Alphonsa Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Coppel, TXRev. Fr. Abraham Vettiyolil MCBS,with effect from November 01, 2012Director, Bl. Kunjachan Syro-Malabar Catholic Mission, Staten Island, NYRev. Fr. Jose Manickathan CFIC,with effect from November 01, 2012Director, St. Mary Syro-Malabar Catholic Mission, Columbus, OHRev. Fr. Paul Chalissery,with effect from November 12, 2012Pastor, Lourd Matha Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Raleigh/Durham, NCRev. Fr. Joseph Tharackal,with effect from November 24, 2012Pastor, St. Stephen Syro-Malabar Knanaya Catholic Church, Hempstead, NYRev. Fr. Mathew Elayadathamadam MSFS,with effect from December 16, 2012Pastor, St. Alphonsa Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Atlanta, GA Canada MissionRev. Fr. Varghese Munduvelil CFIC,with effect from October 06, 2012Director, St. Alphonsa Syro-Malabar Mission, Edmonton, CanadaRev. Fr. Mathew Periappuram,with effect from October 14, 2012Pastor, St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Mission Parish, Toronto, Canada 24
  • 27. Formation of New Parish Council As the decision of the last two presbyterium meetings the new parish council is to be formed and established in the month of January 2013 for two years in all parishes and missions of our diocese. The selection of the new representatives shall be done in compliance with the revised procedure rules of our diocese.Annual Financial Statement (Therattu)and Assessment All parishes and missions of the diocese are requested to submit their annual financial statement and 10% of the total income of the preced- ing accounting year to the diocesan fund as annual assessment before February 28, 2013.Diocesan Appeal - 2012 Diocesan Appeal - 2012 is in progress. Thanks to all those who have con- tributed. Those who haven’t contributed so far, please do it at the earli- est. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.Registry for Visiting Priests As per the decision of Priests’ Conference-2012 the name and details of the priests who come from outside of our diocese for the celebration of sacraments are to be recorded and kept in a book. Rev. Fr. Pastors are requested to do the needful for the same in their respective parishes and missions.Pastoral Council Member Mr. Jose Valiyaparampil is the diocesan pastoral council member from St. Mary’s Syro-Malabar Knanaya Catholic Church, San Jose, CA. 25
  • 28. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago The Mode of remembering Major Archbishop, Bishops, Consecrated Persons and lay Missionaries in the Syro-Malabar Qurbana As per the decision of XX Synod, (August 2012) of Syro-Malabar MajorArchiepiscopal Church, the mode of remembering Major Archbishop, Bishops,Consecrated Persons and lay missionaries in our diocese during Holy Qurbanais as follows.Celebrant : For the Supreme Pontiff Pope …., the ruler and head of the universal Church, for the Major Archbishop Mar …, the father and head of our Church, for our bishop Mar…., the father and head of the diocese, for all bishops, priests, consecrated persons, lay missionaries, for the entire holy Catholic Church, and for the rulers and all those who are in authority, for the honour and glory of all the prophets….ImÀ½n-I³ : 26
  • 29. T he Priests’ Conference 2012 was held at Techny Towers Conference Center, Chicago, September17-20, 2012. His Excellency Mar Jacob Angadiath, Rev.Dr. Antony Narikulam, Rector, St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Mangalapuzha,Alwaye and 48 priests working in the diocese participated in the conference.The main topic of the discussion of the conference was the Year of Faith. In the inaugural address His Excellency emphasized that the priests’ confer-First day: September 17th Monday Eveningence is an occasion for Rev. Fathers to be enriched in the spirit of love, commu-nion and sharing. He exhorted the priests to meditate upon the motto of theirpriestly vocation (Mk 3: 13-15) and to make an examination about their interestand dedication in the celebration of Holy Qurbana and in the salvation of souls.Finding satisfaction and happiness in their vocation, the priests should help andencourage others to discern a vocation to priesthood, religious and family life. The celebration of the Year of Faith should be an occasion to be real mission-aries of the Lord. The catechetical formation of the children, youth and adultsare of vital importance. Catechists should be well oriented in their responsibili-ties. Active participation in the Holy Qurbana and deepening of faith in the doc-trines of the Church, expressed in II Vat Council Decrees and Catechism of theCatholic Church should encourage and enrich the faithful to be more active intheir ecclesial life. 27
  • 30. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago His Excellency expressed his gratitude for the service of Rev. Fathers, JamesCherickal, Abby Vadakkekara, James Ponganayil, Joseph Elamparayil OCD, PrinceKuruvila, Joseph Arackal VC and Davis Chirayath to the faithful of the diocese. Hewelcomed Rev. Fathers, Sebastian Vethanath, Paul Chalisserry, Tijo Mullakara,George Kuppayil, Renny Abraham Kattel and Benoy Naramangalathil who havejoined the diocese for ministry. The new priests shared their experiences. Rev. Dr. Antony Narikulam made the input session on the Year of faith. AfterSecond day: September 18th Tuesdayenumerating the sum and substance of the apostolic letter ‘The Door of Faith’, heproposed some practical suggestions that can be practiced in the Year of Faithsuch as active participation in the Holy Qurbana, study of II Vat. Council decreesand Catechism of the Catholic Church, introducing the life of saints and witness-ing faith through acts of charity. In the afternoon session some of the liturgical concerns of the audience werecleared. We are too much preoccupied with the ‘how’ of Holy Qurbana, not ‘why’of it. Explanation of the ‘why’ aspect of Holy Qurbana has to be emphasized inthe Year of Faith. Discussion on the planning of the Year of Faith was organized into five groups.Rev. Fathers, Johnykutty George (Puleessery), Mudakodil Siju Kuriakose, Zacha-rias Thottuvelil, Tijo Mullakara and Paul Chalissery presented the summary ofthe different groups. His Excellency announced his idea of forming a committeeto look after the implementation of the planning for the Year of Faith. Rev. Fr.Sebastian Vethanath, the Chancellor, was entrusted with the task of formulatingall the suggestions presented by Rev. Fathers, to be implemented in the dioceseand parish levels during the Year of Faith. The evening session was open for questions and clarifications. Importantamong them are the following.• Rev. Fathers expressed their concerns and questions regarding the celebra- tion of the marriage, especially the interference of some priests who are not serving in our diocese.• The need of centralized catechetical syllabus and question papers for CCD and diocesan guidelines for the pious association were raised.• Diocesan and parish level control is necessary on the retreat preachers who come for preaching in the parishes and missions of the diocese. 28
  • 31. The morning session was on Safe Environment. Rev. Sr. Marcella Nowakows-Third day: September 19th Wednesdayki SSJTOSF, the office secretary, explained the formalities to be accomplishedby each parish and mission on Safe Environment. It was followed by Rev. Dr.Mathew Manakatt’s orientation talk on faith formation. He emphasized that faithformation should lead one to the transformation of life, helping them to form aChristian conscience. It should help them to be led to the depth of the fullness oftruth. Rev. Fr. Antony Thundathil, Protosyncellus, explained the program of thefaith formation, plan of the editing of the syro-malabar catechetical text books,ongoing formation of CCD teachers etc. In the afternoon session, Mr. Andrews Thomas Parampath presented finan-cial and legal issues. All priests working in the diocese are requested to keep thediocesan guidelines to maintain a clear accountability of personal, parochial anddiocesan financial affairs. In the evening session the focus of attention was on youth apostolateand their faith formation. Bro. Kevin Mundackal, Bro. Rajeev Valiyaparampil,Abin Kuruvila and Rev. Fr. Vinod Madathiparambil summarized the apostolateof youth formation. The prime attention of the day was the concluding remarks by His Excel-Fourth day: 20th Thursdaylency Mar Jacob Angadiath. Important remarks are the following.• October 14th: Inauguration of the Year of Faith• Make use of the book The Church of St. Thomas Christians down the centu- ries as supplementary texts for catechism.• Formation of the parish council has to be conducted according to the re- vised procedure rules of the diocese.• There should be uniformity in the celebration of Holy Qurbana in the diocese.• Annual assessment and appeal to the diocese are to be duly fulfilled.• The name and details of the priests who come for celebration in the par- ishes and missions are to be recorded and kept in a book. 29
  • 32. T he Year of Faith aims at faithful’s encounter with the Risen Lord which gives life a new horizon and decisive direction (The Door of Faith, no. 2). This en-countering with the Risen Lord is to be experienced mainly through the activeparticipation in the celebration of Holy Qurbana. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI exhorts: “We have to intensify the celebra-tion of the faith in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist, the summit towardswhich the activity of the Church is directed; and also the source from which allits power flows” (The Door of Faith, no. 9). Pope continues to encourage every faithful: “We must rediscover a taste forfeeding ourselves on the Word of God, faithfully handed down by the Church,and on the bread of life, offered as sustenance for his people” (cf. Jn 6:51) (TheDoor of Faith, no. 3). An experiential knowledge and active participation in the Holy Qurbana isessential for this encountering with the Risen Lord. 30
  • 33. Liturgy of the Word and of the Bread : Two Fundamental Parts ofH Holy Qurbana oly Qurbana is a combination of two tables: table of the WORD and table of the BREAD, having strong biblical references. Divine Bread and Word of Godhave prefiguration in the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good andEvil, referred in the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:9). In the Book of Exodus, God wantsMoses to place two things as signs of His presence in the Ark of the Covenant(Ex 25: 21;30).1) God’s Testimony of Covenant with His people. Ex 25:21 records: “In the ark itself you are to put the commandments which I will give you”. It is nothing but the prefiguration of the Word of God.2) The Bread of Divine Presence. Ex 25:30 says: “On the table you shall always keep the bread of the divine presence”. Jewish religious life was a response to these basic elements of divine pres-ence, i.e., the covenant (word of God) and the bread of divine presence. The in-stitutions of Synagogue and the Temple at Jerusalem stand for the proclamationof the Word and breaking of the Bread, respectively. 31
  • 34. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago Syro-Malabar Church inherits the spiritual and religious continuity of Jewishtradition, practiced by our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles. In the Syro-Mala-bar church construction the presence of Bema and Madbaha follows the modelof Jewish Synagogue and the Temple respectively. Bema is the place reserved forthe proclamation of the Word of God and Madbaha is set apart for the breakingthe Bread. Jesus Christ is the true expression of the divine presence among us (Emman-uel) through the symbols of Word and Bread. His earthly ministry was mainlycentered in Galilee and Jerusalem. Jesus’ Galilean ministry (= the proclama-tion of the Word) was meant for the understanding of His Jerusalem ministry(= becoming the Bread of Life). In other words, Jesus’ Galilean ministry wasdirected to His Jerusalem ministry. The table of the proclamation of the Word and that of breaking of the BreadHoly Qurbana : A Combination of Two Tablesare fundamental parts of holy Qurbana of any tradition after the model of Jesus’Galilean and Jerusalem ministries. These two tables are just like two sides of onecoin. They are inseparable and are complementary to each other. These are twofundamental parts of Jesus’ life. As St. John the Evangelist teaches us the invis-ible Word of God put on flesh, so that He might become the Bread of life (Jn 6). “Icame that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10). This proclama-tion of Jesus finds its full realization in his words: “I am the bread of eternal life”.Bread is the symbol of life. Being the eternal bread of the world, Jesus becamethe source of life for all. He was born in Bethlehem, the land of bread, so that hemight become the bread of whole world. The true meaning and depth of Eucha-ristic bread can be understood only in the light of the teachings of Word of God,revealed in the Old and New Testaments. The Word of God ministry is meant for the understanding of the Bread ofLife. The table of the Word should be directed to the table of the Bread. This isthe lesson taught and revealed in the God experience of the disciples who wentto Emmaus (Lk 24:13-34). The Word of God ministry, if not leading to the Eucha-ristic Bread, may direct one to the line of protestant theology. Many of Jesus’ followers, who could not understand his teaching on the liv-ing bread, left the group of disciples (Jn 6:66). This is true with the case of manyin the world around us. Many group of people preach and do some sort of mira-cles in the name of Jesus, but they deviate their faithful from the true faith in the 32
  • 35. Eucharistic bread. Of course, these people are not following Jesus according tothe true revelations of the Bible. Jesus’ words of warning in Mt 7:22-23 clearlyexpress the fate of those who do not believe in the Eucharistic presence of theLord. The Word of God ministry, not directed to the mystery of the Holy Eucharist,is something misleading from the right paths of biblical revelations. It may devi-ate people from faith in the Eucharistic Lord. The only solution to get rid of thisgreat danger is to give ample importance to the Word of God ministry of the HolyQurbana. The four readings of the Holy Qurbana have to be rightly interpretedand directed to a deeper spiritual enlightment so that the faithful may have allthe possibilities of recognizing the Eucharistic Lord as in the case of discipleswho went to Emmaus.Continuation of the Divine Presence through In the Catholic Church, the continuation of Jesus and his disciples, the faith-Word and Bread in the Catholic Churchful can have real experience of the divine presence through the Word of God andEucharistic Bread. Jesus, the Good Samaritan, has blessed the inn (the Church)with two great denara, the Word of God and the Eucharistic bread (Lk 10:25-37).Through these precious gifts, the wounded human being can have the experienceof healing. Jesus Christ, the Medicine of Life and the chief Physician, continueshis healing ministry in the inn, i.e., Church, through the life giving sacraments. The faithful should love the Church in order to recognize the power of theConclusiondivine presence through the gifts of Word and Bread, clearly revealed in the Oldand New Testaments. The life of St. Newman, who denied all the high ranks ofAnglican Church and embraced the Catholic Church in order to experience theEucharistic presence of the Lord, inspires and enlightens each and every mem-ber of the Catholic Church. Every member of the Church should actively partici-pate in the holy Qurbana in order to get in to its deeper meaning. The ignoranceof Holy Qurbana is the ignorance of Jesus Christ. Let us pray to the EucharisticJesus, “Oh, Lord, increase my faith in the most life giving bread and help me tolead a life centered on this Blessed Sacrament”. 33
  • 36. Basic Structure of Syro-Malabar QurbanaSSyro-Malabar QurbanaModeled after Lord’s Prayer yro-Malabar Qurbana is structured after the model of Lord’s Prayer. There are threeparts in the prayer that our Lord taught us:1) praising the heavenly Father, 2) interceding forour needs 3) concluding by praising God. In theholy Qurbana, though not in perfect order, we can seethese three parts of Lord’s Prayer. The first part ofQurbana is praising God. The element of Intercessionis clearly seen from karosuza prayer onwards. Theprayers after Holy Communion again highlight thepraises of Holy Trinity. 34
  • 37. Different Rites of In addition to the basic divisions of Qurbana intoSyro-Malabar Qurbana the ministry of the Word of God and of the Bread, the Syro-Malabar Qurbana is further understood under seven parts. A detailed study of these parts will certainly lead one to a better understanding of the mystery of Holy Qurbana and to an authen- tic God experience. These different parts highlight the different facets of Christ’s life.Annapesaha thirunnalil to sarvaathipanam karthaave.1. Introductory Rite This part commemorates Jesus’ birth, hidden life and His public appearance to the world at the time of Baptism in the river Jordan. The main ob- jectives of this part are praising God the Father for his wonderful acts of salvation, accomplished in Jesus Christ and to lead the faithful to an authentic God experience. The opening of the sanctuary veil, lighting and incensing of madbaha, and the hymn of sarvaathipanam karthave all lead the partici- pants to a heavenly world.Sabdhamuyarthi paadiduvin to the prayers of blessing2. The Word of God Minisrty after karosuza. Jesus’ Galilean ministry (procla- mation of the Word of God) is specially commem- orated here. After having entered into the divine realm through the introductory rite, the faithful praises the holiness of the Trinitarian God and prepares him/her to live in the same experience of divine holiness through hearing the Word of God and purifying the individual life on its basis. 35
  • 38. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of ChicagoIt involves the preparation of the bread and wine,3. Rite of Preparation and the spiritual preparation of the celebrant and the faithful, bringing of the gifts from beth- gazze to the altar - a symbolic re-presentation of Christ’s journey to Galgutha - and offering of the gifts. Jesus’ suffering, death and burial are spe- cially commemorated in this part. The memory of Bl. Mary, St. Thomas the Apostle, Righteous, Fa- thers and Martyrs who shed their life for the Lord, is brought to the altar. Before entering into the celebration of anaphora the congregation profess their faith in the Triune God.4. AnaphoraIt consists of four circles of gehandha prayers. Each gehandha circle is composed of four elements.a. b. Kooshappa - celebrant’s prayer in low voice Celebrant’s request for help, mainly expressing his unworthiness to stand be- fore the altar of the Lord,c. Pranamajapam, being addressed to the dif- ferent persons of the most Holy Trinity, these prayers deal with the commemoration of differ- ent aspects of salvific events starting from the act of creation, events of Christ’s life and its continu- ation in the Church by the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit through the life giving mysteries of Baptism and the Eucharist.d. Kanona - each gehandha circle is concluded with praising God (kanona) for all the benefits. 36 65
  • 39. The prayers of this part lead the faithful to the rec-5. The Rite of Reconciliation onciliation with God, universe and fellow beings. The body of Christ is raised as a symbol of Jesus’ apparition after the resurrection and its fraction results human beings’ reconciliation with God. As a sign of this reconciliation the congregation of faithful recites the Lord’s Prayer.Through the reception of the Holy Communion the6. The Rite of Communion with God faithful experience an authentic communion with God. The body and blood of Jesus are intermin- gled with our human nature so that we might be raised to the divine realm. Divinity and humanity is perfectly united here.As in the conclusion of Lord’s Prayer, the prayers af-7. The Rite of Conclusion ter the Holy Communion are praising God for the wonderful gift of Qurbana. The faithful, deacons and the celebrant praise the Holy Trinity, and their prayers clearly indicate the eschatological character of the communion between God and man, experienced in the Holy Qurbana. The final blessing of the Qurbana signifies Jesus’s blessing over the apostles before his ascension into heav- en. The faithful are blessed so that they may give witness to the Lord wherever they are, by living the Master’s commandment “Do this in memory of me” in their daily life and encountering the Risen Lord in different walks of life.This encounter with the Lord will provide life a new horizon and deci- sive direction. 37 65
  • 40. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago Vatican Council’s teachings on active participation in the celebration of Holy Qurbana“ The Church, therefore, earnestly desires that Christ’s faithful, when present at this mystery of faith, should not be as strang-ers or silent spectators. On the contrary, through a good under-standing of the rites and prayers they should take part in thesacred action, conscious of what they are doing, with devotionand full collaboration. They should be instructed by God’s Word,and be nourished at the table of the Lord’s Body. They shouldgive thanks to God. Offering the immaculate victim, not onlythrough the hands of the priest but also together with him, theyshould learn to offer themselves. Through Christ, the Mediator,they should be drawn day by day into ever more perfect unionwith God and each other, so that finally God may be all in all”. (The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy No. 48)
  • 41. 1 9 T Liturgical Year : A Golden Key to the Door of Faith he Liturgical Year (aradhanakramaval- saram) is the golden path that leads the The Season of The Season of faithful to heaven. It connects the earth with Annunciation Pallikudasha the heaven. Through the repeated celebration(Preparation for Jesus’ Birth) (Dedication of the Church) of the liturgical year the worshipping com- munity reaches its destination, the heaven. Repeating of the liturgical year helps the 2 8 faithful to grow in God-experience and enter deeply into the mysteries of Christ. In the Church the members are blessed with the opportunities of experiencing the divine mysteries of salvation through their commemoration in the different liturgical seasons. Meditating and experiencing the di- The Season of The Season of Elijah-Sleeva-Moses vine mysteries, represented by each season of Nativity (Transfiguration & Second the Liturgical Year, the faithful are invited to (Birth from Bl. Mary) Coming of Christ) follow Jesus Christ in an authentic manner on 3 their journey to the Kingdom of God. The litur- 7 gical year of the Syro-Malabar Church is basi- cally rooted on the divine mysteries of salva- tion, accomplished in Jesus Christ. The feasts of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the Saints are arranged in such a way that they suit to the spirit of each season. On the basis of the sal- vific mysteries of Jesus Christ the liturgical year is divided into nine seasons. The Season of The Season of Kaitha Epiphany (Growth of the Church (Baptism at River Jordan) through the Apostles) 4 5 6 The Season of The Season of The Season of Lent Resurrection Apostles (Activities of the Holy Spirit (Passion and Death) (Resurrection and Ascension) through the Apostles)
  • 42. T he liturgical year of the Syro-Malabar Church be- gins with the periods of Annunciation-Nativity. The four weeks in preparation to the feast of the Na- tivity of Jesus, celebrated on 25th December, consti- tute the Season of Annunciation. Since we practice abstinence from 1st to 25th December in prepara- tion for Christmas, we call this period ‘25 days Lent’. As per the meaning of the Syriac term ‘subbara’, used to denote thisseason, it is period of ‘declaration’ or ‘announcement’. What angel Gabrielannounced to holy Mary was the greatest glad news to humanity thateagerly waited for the Saviour. Thus, this season is developed in the con-text of the mystery of Incarnation completed in the fullness of time. As apreparation for the celebration of the mystery of Incarnation, this seasonrecalls creation, disobedience of our first parents and its consequences,the miserable state of the broken humanity, the promise of salvation of-fered by God, God’s covenant with humanity and the prophecies aboutthe Saviour. We also meditate on the role of Mary in the history of theplan of salvation. The readings, prayers and hymns of the season remind us that likethe people in the Old Testament who became aware of their miserablecondition and their hope for the Saviour, the people of New Testamentalso should become aware of their helplessness and sinful situation andwalk towards Jesus and give place in their hearts for Him to be born. 40
  • 43. T he word Epiphany in Syriac is known as ‘denha’. It means‘dawn’, ‘revelation’, ‘manifestation’etc. In this season the Church recallsthe manifestation of Jesus whichbegan with His Baptism at Jordan.Jesus reveals Himself to the world;Father and the Holy Spirit witnessto it: “This is my beloved Son, withwhom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:7).The mystery of the Holy Trinity is re-vealed at His Baptism. The Feast of Denha which is celebrated on 6th January is called ‘Pindikuthip-erunnal’ by faithful who live in the Northern part of Kerala and ‘Rakkuli’ by peo-ple of South. ‘Pindikuthiperunnal’ originated from the practice of going aroundthe ‘vazhapindi’ decorated with lights and singing ‘God is light’ commemoratingJesus the light of the world. The name ‘Rakkuli’ came from the ritual bath thatour forefathers used to have in the river or pool nearby, on the eve of the feast. Itwas a religious ceremony. The saints who witnessed the revealed mystery of Christ through their lives,are remembered by the Church on the Fridays of this season. The most impor-tant themes commemorated during these days are Baptism of Jesus, His publiclife, His divine and human nature, His intimate relation with the Father and theHoly Spirit and his self-emptying love. In this season the Scriptural proclama-tions (readings) chosen are mainly connected with the public life of Jesus. Thisperiod reminds us of the Baptism of Jesus and our own baptism and the respon-sibilities we have undertaken with it. Hence let us strive hard to know Him moreintensely and to live like the children of God during this season. 41
  • 44. DIOCESAN YOUTH (DYA) APOSTOLATETNational Coordinators ofDiocesan Youth Apostolate (DYA) he ad-hoc National Youth Coordinators of Diocesan Youth Apostolate appointed by our bishop with the decree Prot. No. 676/2011 dated Oct 07,2011, and installed in office by His Beatitude Mar George Cardinal Alencherry,is completing their term with great achievements and results. Considering theircommitments and dedication the same team is extended and appointed as theNational Coordinators of DYA. The following are the members.Rev. Fr. Vinod Madathiparambil (The Director) Jeslyn Thomas (Atlanta, GA)Abin Kuriakose (Cathedral, Chicago) Jibu Joseph (Cathedral, Chicago)Brian Mundackal (Bronx, NY) Jomy Methipara (Baltimore, MD)Charlotte Mathew (Atlanta, GA) Kavitha Joseph (Houston, TX)Delix Alex (Garflield, NJ) Kevin Mundackal (Seminarian)Geordie Daniel (Houston, TX) Rajeev Philip (Seminarian)George Thomas (San Francisco, CA) Sherinrose Palatty (Garfield, NJ)Jaisy Joseph (Boston, MA) Shilpa Francis (Garfield, NY) Please visit http://www.facebook.com/groups/stthomasdya/ 42
  • 45. D YLG(Diocesan YouthLeaders Gathering)December 26 – 30, 2012 D iocesan Y o u t h Leaders Gathering This is a training program for the upcoming and promising young leadersof our parishes and missions. (The 2009 DYLG yielded great results: 3 Region-al conferences (one more scheduled for coming January in CA), first NationalYouth Conference, formation of a Team of National Youth Coordinators, processof a Charter for the DYA, involvement in World Youth Day and NCYC & NCCC,initiatives like Syro-Study, Vocations, and above all the formulation of the Dioc-esan Youth Apostolate.) It is a beautiful opportunity to come together and enricheach other as well as to know and experience the youth initiatives happeningacross the diocese and thereby help the participants to be inspired and commit-ted leaders of the Church.a) Please send the current youth officer or an active youth from grades high school or college. The Diocesan Youth Apostolate has a particular focus on youth with outstanding faith and moral character.b) Please send to frvinod@gmail.com the names of the delegates from the parishes and missions at the earliest possible to help us make the arrange- ments comfortable to the participants.c) All representatives must email SyroMalabarDYLG@gmail.com and the email will respond with the DYLG registration form.d) We recommend representatives to fly in to either Chicago O’Hare (ORD) or Chicago Midway (MDW) between 12pm – 6pm on Wednesday, Decem- ber 26. This is just a recommendation. No matter what, we will accommo- date everyone’s travel plans. As per Sunday, December 30, we recommend everyone leave after 3:00pm from either airport. 43
  • 46. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicagoe) The accommodation of the participants will be with host families at Syro- Malabar Cathedral; with groups of guys and girls separated. All homes will be 20-30 minutes away from the Cathedral.f) There will be a registration fee per representative.g) All questions can be referred to our official DYLG email and phone num- ber: SyroMalabarDYLG@gmail and 312-725-4031h) Please get a second Sunday collection in all parishes/missions for the de- velopment of our Diocesan Youth Apostolate and our December 2012 gath- ering. We hope the funds will address the logistical and financial needs of our youth. www.wcyc2013.com 2013 WCYCA WCYC West Cost Youth Conference January 18-23, 2013 regional conference of the parishes and missions of the western region of west cost youth conference our diocese. An awesome opportunity for the youth of the Syro-MalabarParishes/missions to come together and celebrate the beauty of our faith tra-dition as well as to connect with the other youth groups and initiatives of ourdiocese.Conducted at Saint Anthony Retreat Center, 43816 Sierra Dr/Hwy 198,Three Rivers, CA 93271-0249. Holy Family Syro-Malabar Mission, Phoenix, AZ; Infant Jesus Syro-Mala-Participating Parishes/Missions:bar Mission, Sacramento, CA; St. Alphonsa Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, LosAngeles, CA; St. Mary’s Syro-Malabar Knanaya Catholic Parish, San Jose, CA;St. Pius X Syro-Malabar Knanaya Catholic Church, Los Angeles, CA; St. ThomasApostle Syro-Malabar Church, Santa Ana, CA; St. Thomas Syro-Malabar CatholicChurch San Francisco, CA; Blessed Mother Theresa Syro-Malabar Catholic Mis-sion, Las Vegas, NV. 44
  • 47. 4 Life : Pro-Life Ministry “4Life” is a Pro-Life ministry initiated by Jesus Youth, USA incollaboration with our St. Thomas Diocese and Syro-MalankaraExarchate in USA, following the recommendation at the Presby-terium 2012. This ministry aims to network with the existing pro-life ac-tivities and initiatives of the Catholic Church of America, to trainMISSIONARIES FOR LIFE - people who take a commitment topractice and profess Pro-Life values, to develop “CENTERS OFLIFE” in all parishes and missions of our diocese within nextthree years. A concept formulation gathering of a few missionar-ies for life was conducted on Dec 01 and 02, 2012 at Mar ThomaSleeha Syro-Malabar Cathedral, Chicago. The gathering proposedthe following activities and initiatives1. Observe the Season of Annunciation as a time of spiritual renewal and study of the teachings of the Church on Life and its dignity (e.g. : Evangelium Vitae, Humane Vitae, and Dignitas Personae).2. Participation in the March for Life on January 25, 2013 at Washington DC. Every parish/mission may arrange to the participation in the March for Life on January 25. The St. Jude Syro-Malabar Mission of N. Viriginia and the Syro- 45
  • 48. St. Thomas Syro-MalabarCatholic Diocese of Chicago Malankara Church of Washington will help arranging the smooth participation. St. Jude Syro-Malabar Mission will celebrate January 26 and 27 as a Pro-Life weekend with prayer, training programs, Theology of the Body sessions, adoration and Qurbana. Anyone interested is most wel- come to attend this program. 3. Pro-Life Sunday: January 27, 2013 shall be observed as a Pro-Life Sunday in all parishes and missions across our dio- cese. This observance shall have prayer service for the un- born, for the victims of abortion and other atrocities to life, sessions on the teachings of the church, exhibitions, pro- life videos and debates, poster making, slogan making, etc. 4Life ministry will be happy to help you with suggestions and ideas to do this. 4. Regional training programs for MISSIONARIES FOR LIFE. The ministry will be conducting regional training program to train missionaries for life throughout the year 2013. Please contact the 4Life ministry to conduct one at your re- gion/parish/mission. For contact: Fr. Vinod Madathiparambil, frvinod@gmail.com; 630-901-5724 Email : 4life-ministry@googlegroups.com Website : www.4life.jesusyouth.org Logo : http://4life.jesusyouth.org/images1/4%20LIFE%20LOGO.jpg Flyer : http://www.4life.jesusyouth.org/images1/4%20LIFE%20FLYER.jpg Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/4lifeMinistry 46
  • 49. “I hope to meet you in two years, at the next World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Until then,we pray for each other, witnessing to the joy that comes from living rooted and built up in Christ.See you soon, dear young people! May God bless you.” (Holy Father B16) Let us respond to this call of our Holy Father by participating in the WYD 2013; an awe-some gift to every faithful especially the younger generation. Our participation is a joint effortof Jesus Youth, USA, St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago and Syro-MalankaraExarchate of USA.Why attend World Youth Day 2013 in Brazil? The Church provides this unique opportunity for youth to experience the beauty anddiversity of the Universal Church. Begun in 1985 by Pope John Paul II, this event happensin different locations every two to three years. This year, the Holy Father has proposed thefocus of this WYD to be rooted in both the push for New Evangelization and the Church’sinitiative for the Year of Faith with the theme- “Go and make disciples of all nations.” (Mt 28:19).WYD Package- Total price - $800*Pre-WYD gathering (July 16-19, 2013) Illinois, USA Pilgrims will embark on this journey with a preparation for a fruitful and spirit-filled experience at WYD. This gathering is essential for a proper orientation of all pilgrims before traveling to Brazil in anticipation of a meaningful encounter with Christ in the Catholic Church.Youth Arise International Festival (July 20-22, 2013) Canas, Brazil Youth Arise International is an international network of nearly 45 Catholic organiza- tions, dedicated to the task of raising a generation of leaders to be apostles of charity 47
  • 50. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago and truth for the mission of the Church. 
For several years now YAI has been orga- nizing a Youth Festival coinciding with the World Youth Days. JY pilgrims have been participating in this festival since WYD 2000. It remains one of the most enriching and edifying experiences of the WYD pilgrimage for the whole group.World Youth Day (July 23-28, 2013) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil During these days, youth from all over the world will come together to celebrate, experience and deepen their faith. The Holy Father will join them at various points and lead them deeper into the beauty of the Catholic Church.Jesus Youth International Gathering (July 28-29, 2013)(Optional) Package A- Total price - $100 During this gathering, Jesus Youth from all over the world will spend time in fel- lowship and sharing of faith. A gathering of this type has been a regular part of previous WYDs.Mission in Rio (July 30- August 3, 2010)(Optional) Package B- Total price - $300 This mission is for those who are experienced in mission and have a strong spiritual formation. Participants will have to be approved to take part in this mission. This opportunity will allow such people to serve in the rural areas of Rio and recognize the face of Jesus in the poor. * This package price includes all expenses (except for airfare) from July 16 (arrivalin Illinois) to July 29 (departure from Brazil). This includes food, simple accommodation,and travel to/from airports. This also takes in a calculated conversion rate for Braziliancurrency based on yearly exchange rates. Minors (under 18) - Those youth younger than 18 must have a chaperone accom-pany them. One chaperone may be responsible for up to 5 youth under 18. The chaper-one must be identified on the spot provided during registration. Flight information - Jesus Youth willassist in booking flights as a group. Once youhave registered you will be contacted for com-pletion of flight booking. Price are rapidly ris-ing so early registration is encouraged. 48
  • 51. Blessing and Re-dedication Consecration of the church ofof the Renovated Church of St. Stephen Syro-MalabarSt. Thomas Syro-Malabar Parish, Knanaya Catholic Church,Bronx, NY Hempstead, NY His Excellency Mar Jacob Angadiath St. Stephen Syro-Malabar Kna-blessed and re-dedicated the renovat- naya Catholic Church, Hempstead,ed church of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar NY was consecrated on NovemberParish, Bronx on December 02, 2012. 26th 2012 by His Excellency MarThis church was built, after the name of Jacob Angadiath. After the con-St. Valentine, by the immigrant community secration, His Grace Mar Mathewfrom Poland in 1931. On March 19th 2002, Moolakkatt, Archbishop of Kot-Rt. Rev. John Okkonar, the Archbishop tayam, celebrated Holy Qurbanaof New York gave permission to the local in the new church. The announce-Syro-Malabar community to make use of ment of the decree of the erectionthe church for liturgical celebrations. On of the new parish and of the ap-March 24th His Excellency Mar Jacob An- pointment of Rev. Fr. Joseph Thar-gadiath blessed the church and renamed ackal as its first pastor was doneit as St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Church. during the function.Recently the parish church celebrated its10th anniversary. Under the leadership of This is the 30th parish of St.Rev. Fr. Jos Kandathikudy, Pastor, the parish Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholiccommunity cooperated wholeheartedly for diocese of Chicago and 11th of itsthe completion of the renovation work. Knanaya region. 49
  • 52. Continuous Bible Reading in St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, East Millstone, NJI n connection with the observance of the Year of Faith a continuous public reading of the Holy Bible, starting from the Book of Genesisto the Revelation to John was arranged in St. Thomas Syro-MalabarCatholic Church, East Millstone, NJ. The program was organized day andnight from December 5th to 9th (Wednesday-Sunday) 2012. The responseof the parish community to this program was very positive and welcoming.Reading and listening to the word of God, the parish community whole-heartedly cooperated with the program. This continuous Bible reading program was arranged in response toHis Holiness Pope Benedict XVI’s invitation to rediscover a taste forfeeding the faithful on the Word of God in the Year of Faith. 50
  • 53. Austin, St. Alphonsa Syro-Malabar Catholic MissionCoppell, St. Alphonsa Syro-Malabar Catholic ChurchDallas (Garland), St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic ChurchHouston St. Joseph Syro-Malabar Catholic ChurchMcAllen (Edinburg), Divine Mercy Syro-Malabar Catholic ChurchOklahoma, Holy Family Syro-Malabar Catholic ChurchPearland, St. Mary Syro-Malabar Catholic Mission SSan Antonio, St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Mission t. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church Garland (Dallas) will host Inter Parish Talent Fest (IPTF) for Dallas region. Dallas is the only region in the diocese to host such an event for the last three years. Eight parishes/missions of the re- gion participate in this event. Over 300 students participate in this Bible fest. 51
  • 54. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago With the goal of glorifying God through art and music, IPTF was start-ed in 2010. St. Thomas the Apostle Dallas parish hosted the first IPTFin 2010. IPTF is designed to bring the students and families across theDallas region to come together and get to know each other and developcloser relations. Rev. Fathers of the region under the regional director, Rev. Fr. Sebas-tian Kaniampadickal, oversee this event. It is a program for CCD studentsand all CCD directors of the region are part of the core team who developthe rules and guidelines for the different events. Bible Quiz, Speech, Song (English/Mal), Dance (Classical/Folk), Monoact, Bible Skit, Instrumental Music, Painting, Pencil Drawing, Poetry andEssay Competitions are the different events where students compete.Parish Level competitions take place in December and top 2 winnersfrom each parish compete on March 9-10, 2013. All events have biblethemes. Bible Quiz is one event where adults also participate. IPTF give a unique opportunity to develop talents for the studentsand equip them to use the power of Christian media and art form in theservice of God’s kingdom. IPTF has become a celebration of the regionwhere hundreds of families across the region gather at host parish dur-ing spring break of each year. The event witnesses outstanding perfor-mances which has won national attention. Bishop Jacob Angadiyath whoattended last year’s event has proposed to have this repeated in otherregions and have a diocesan level IPTF. St. Thomas the Apostle Church Garland (Dallas) invites parents andkids across the diocese for IPTF 2013 that will be held on March 9-10,2013. All events will be live telecasted over www.livestream.com. Pleasevisit www.iptfdallas.org for more details. 52
  • 55. From Bishop’s DiaryAugust1 Wed Together with His Beatitude Major Archbishop Mar George Car- dinal Alencherry participated in the inauguration of the new facility for St. Mary Syro-Malabar Catholic Mission of Rockland St. Boniface Church, Wesley Hills, NY.2 Thu Concelebrated Holy Qurbana with Major Archbishop Mar George Cardinal Alencherry at St. Mary’s Syro-Malabar parish, Hempstead, NY.3 Fri Accompanied Major Archbishop Mar George Cardinal Alencher- ry to the reception given by Most. Rev. Charles Chaput, Arch- bishop of Philadelphia. In the evening celebrated Holy Qurbana at St. Thomas Syro-Ma- labar Church of Philadelphia.4 Sat Together with His Beatitude Mar George Cardinal Alencherry His Excellency participated in the ‘Heritage Day’ celebration of Kerala Catholics of Philadelphia, in which pioneers were recog- nized and honoured.10 Fri After blessing the newly built kodimaram and hosting flag, celebrated Holy Qurbana at St. Mary’s Syro-Malabar Knanaya Catholic Church, Morten grove in connection with the feast of Assumption of Blessed Mary. 53
  • 56. St. Thomas Syro-MalabarCatholic Diocese of Chicago12 – September 12 Syro-Malabar Synod at Major Archiepiscopal Curia at Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad and vacation in Kerala.15-16 Celebrated Holy Qurbana in connection with the solemn feast of Our Lady of Health and participated in the 10th anniversary of the parish in Coral Springs, FL.17-20 Participated in the Priests’ Conference of our diocese held at Techny Towers, Chicago.22 Sat Blessed the marriage of Suby and Bobby at Houston.23 Sun Celebrated Holy Qurbana at St. Joseph’s Church Houston. In the afternoon, visited St. Mary’s Syro-Malabar Catholic mis- sion at Pearland, TX.24-27 Attended Home Mission Bishops’ Meeting in Chicago.30 Sun Celebrated Holy Qurbana at Lourd Matha Syro-Malabar Catho- lic Church, Raleigh/Durham.October4 Thu Visited His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Richard Smith, the Arch- bishop of Edmonton, Canada.5 Fri In the morning, meeting with Most Rev. Frederick Henry, Bish- op of Calgary. In the evening, celebrated Holy Qurbana with the Syro-Malabar community at Calgary, Canada.6 Sat Meeting with the committe of Syro-Malabar mission at Edmonton, Canada. 54 65
  • 57. 7 Sun Celebrated Holy Qurbana in connection with the inauguration of St. Alphonsa Syro-Malabar mission at Edmonton, Canada.14 Sun In the morning celebrated Holy Qurbana at St. Mary’s Syro- Malabar mission at Mississauga, Toronto and introduced the new pastor, Rev. Fr. Mathew Periappuram to the community. In the evening celebrated Holy Qurbana at St. Thomas Syro- Malabar mission at Scarborough, Toronto and introduced the new pastor, Rev. Fr. Mathew Periappuram to the community. At 7.00 pm attended the combined parish council meeting at Precious Blood Church, Scarborough.20 Sat Blessed the marriage of Robin and Elizabeth at St. Thomas the apostle Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Garland, Dallas, TX.21 Sun Celebrated Holy Qurbana at St. Thomas the apostle Syro-Mala- bar Catholic Church, Dallas.24 Wed Officiated the wake service for James Purushothaman at St. Thomas the apostle Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Garland, Dallas, TX.25 Thu Officiated the funeral Holy Qurbana for James Purushothaman, followed by burial at cemetery, Rowlet.27 Sat Attended the concluding ceremony of the recitation of the holy rosary, followed by the meeting with the committee members of St. Alphonsa mission, Minneapolis.28 Sun In the evening, inaugurated the Year of Faith and celebrated solemn Holy Qurbana in St. Alphonsa mission, Minneapolis. 55 65
  • 58. St. Thomas Syro-MalabarCatholic Diocese of ChicagoNovember3 Sat Blessed the marriage between Jency and Darrel in Philadelphia.4 Sun Celebrated Holy Qurbana at St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Philadelphia. In the evening celebrated Holy Qurbana at St. Jude Indian Catholic mission, South Jersey, NJ.9 Fri Celebrated Holy Qurbana at St. Alphonsa Church, Coppel, TX.10 Sat Blessed the marriage of Bensley and Boby Bazil at St. Thomas the apostle Syro-Malabar Church, Garland, Dallas, TX.11 Sun Celebrated Holy Qurbana at Christ the King Syro-Malabar Knana- ya Catholic Church, Dallas, DFW, TX.12-14 Participated in the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Baltimore.18 Sun Celebrated Holy Qurbana at Mar Thoma Sleeha Cathedral, Bellwood.22 Thu On the Day of Thanksgiving His Excellancy celebrated Holy Qur- bana at St. Michael’s CMC convent, Schererville.23 Fri Blessed the marriage between Neethu Abraham and Jacob John at Mar Thoma Sleeha Cathedral, Bellwood.24 Sat Consecrated the church of St. Stephen Syro-Malabar Knanaya par- ish community, Hempstead, NY and concelebrated Holy Qurbana with Archbishop Mar Mathew Moolakkatt.25 Sun Celebrated Holy Qurbana at St. Mary’s Syro-Malabar Church, West Hempstead and thereafter attended the parish council meeting. 56
  • 59. Vision and Mission of St. Thomas Syro-Malabarin the Light of II Vatican Council’s Decree Orientalium Ecclesiarum Catholic Diocese of Chicago B lessed Pope John Paul II, promulgating the Code of Can- ons of the Eastern Churches (October 18, 1990) wrote: “The Church by God’s providence, gathered in the one Spirit, breathes as though with two lungs, of the East and of the West, and burns with the love of Christ in one heart, having two ventricles”. Making use of a common metaphor of human life, the Pope explicitly asserted the importance of Eastern and Western traditions in the life of One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. Catholic Church is a com- munion of 22 particular Churches, of which Latin Church 57
  • 60. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicagobelongs to Western tradition and other 21 inherit Eastern tradition. Syro-Mala-bar Church is the second biggest Oriental Catholic Church. Second Vatican Council in its decree entitled “Orientalium Ecclesiarum” (OE-Oriental Churches) has made it explicitly clear that “these individual Churches,both Eastern and Western, are of equal rank, so that none of them is superior toothers because of rite” (OE no. 3). If it is not so, the equilibrium of the breathingprocess of the Church will be in danger. Therefore the Decree upholds: “Provi-sions must be made everywhere in the world to protect and advance all theseindividual Churches. For this purpose each should organize its own parishesand hierarchy, wherever the spiritual good of the faithful requires it” (OE no.4).The Decree continues to exhort every catholic faithful to retain his/her own ritewherever he/she is and follow it to the best of his/her ability and, in a specialway, it demands all the members of the Eastern Churches to preserve their ownlegitimate liturgical rites and ways of life, and if they have fallen away due to cir-cumstances of times or persons, they have to strive to return to their ancestraltraditions (OE nos. 4-6). The vision of the Decree “Orientalium Ecclesiarum” makes very clear the mis-sion of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago and its various par-ishes and missions in United States of America. Our diocese with its parishesand missions is a great blessing from God to deepen and practice the faith in Je-sus Christ, received through St. Thomas the Apostle, and to hand over the samefaith to the young generation. We aim at knowing more about the customs, tra-ditions and rich heritage of Syro-Malabar tradition through proper understand-ing and celebration of the liturgy. Parish Council, Sunday School (CCD), FamilyPrayer Units and other faith oriented activities of different Pious Organizationsof Youth and Adults (DYA, Vincent de Paul, SMCC etc.) have the common aim ofmaintaining the identity of Syro-Malabar Church. Let us understand, acknowledge and love our Syro-Malabar identity andbring up our children in the great faith, handed over by our heavenly Patron,St. Thomas the Apostle, through active involvement in the diocesan and parishlevel activities. Let us be proud of being a member of Syro-Malabar Church andre-dedicate our life to understand the history of our Church so that we may beable to love our mother church in a better way. 58
  • 61. II Vatican Council (1962-1965) at a Glance• It is the 21st Ecumenical Council and the first since Vatican I (1869-1870).• The first announcement of the Council was on January 25, 1959 by Pope John XXIII.• The preparatory works for the Council lasted for more than three years from 1959-1962.• The preparatory commissions and secretariat were established on June 5, 1960.• The Council was officially convoked on December 25, 1961 with the apostolic constitution Humanae Salutis.• Pope John XXIII opened the Council which had four sessions on Oct 11, 1962.• Pope Paul VI opened the second session on September 29, 1963 and continued the other sessions to the end on December 8, 1965.• 2625 Bishops from all over world participated in the Council of which 82 were Indians.Different Sessions and the Documents Declared1st Session (Oct 11-Dec 8, 1962): No document was declared.2nd Session (Sept 29-Dec 4, 1963): 1. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy-Sacrosanctum Concilium-SC 2. Decree on Instruments of Social Communication-Inter Mirifica-IM3rd Session (Sept 14-Nov 21, 1964): 3. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church-Lumen Gentium- LG 5. Decree on Eastern Catholic Churches-Orientalium Ecclesiarum-OE 4. Decree on Ecumenism-Unitatis Redintegratio-UR 6. Decree on Priestly Formation-Optatam Totius-OT 59
  • 62. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago 7. Decree on the Appropriate Renewal of the Religious Life Perfectae Caritatis-PC 8. Declaration on Christian Education-Gravissimum Educationis-GE 9. Declaration to non-Christian Religion-Nostra Aetate-NA4th Session (Sept 4-Dec 8, 1965) 10. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium Spes-GS 11. Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Liturgy-Dei Verbum-DV 12. Decree on the Aposto late of Laity-Apostolican Actuositatem-AA 13. Decree of Bishop’s Pastoral Office in the Church-Christus Dominus-CD 14. Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priest-Presbyterorum Ordinis-PO 15. Decree on the Church Missionary Activity-Ad Gentes-AG 16. Declaration on Religious Freedom-Dignitatis Humanae-DH• They provide a mine of wisdom and religious insight relevant to the age both inThe Relevance of the Documents of Vatican Council II the Church and the World today.• Even today they have lost nothing of their value and brilliance.• They need to be read correctly, to be widely known and taken to heart as impor- tant and normative texts of the magisterium within the Church tradition.• They can be considered as the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twen- tieth century. Therein we can find sure compass to carry out the bearings of the 21st century.• If we interpret and implement it guided by a right hermeneutic, it can become increasingly powerful for the ever necessary renewal of the Church. 60
  • 63. DOOR OF FAITHThe door of faith is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communionwith God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross thatthreshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itselfto be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through that door is to setout on a journey that lasts a lifetime. It begins with baptism. (The Door of Faith No. 1)

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